Item Details

She-Riffs: Gender and the Australian Experience of Alternative Rock and Riot Grrrl in the 1990s

Issue: Vol 3 No. 1 (2016)

Journal: Journal of World Popular Music

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/jwpm.v3i1.31132


This article uses analysis of media articles and archival materials to pursue two aims. First, we investigate the effect of Riot Grrrl and grunge's gender equality impetus in the Australian context. In pursuing this, we discuss the rise of female musicians in Australia around the time of grunge and into the late 1990s, particularly in women-only or mostly-women bands, and bands for whom gender was a key defining factor. Second, in keeping with the goals of feminist historians (although this is not a historical paper, as such) we aim to document the activities of some of the female musicians who were active in Australia during the 1990s. Given that this area has been otherwise neglected in academic accounts of Australian popular music and of Riot Grrrl/grunge, it will provide an important starting point for further studies to expand upon. We demonstrate here that the Australian intersections between feminism and rock music are unique, as are the dialogues, debates and solutions proffered, as they combined immediate, local grassroots activity with support from international acts who themselves, while notable in their celebrity, had similar ties to the type of direct action cultural communities exemplified by the Rock'n'Roll High School concept.

Author: Catherine Strong, Ian Rogers

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